Apr 022013

Aswan and Luxor, both are the important tourist destinations in Egypt because of its legendary temples, tombs and museums. Aswan is famous for Philae Temple, St. Catherine’s Monastery, Nubian Museum, Unfinished Obelisk etc. This city also serves as the base for the cost-effective travel to the amazing temples at Abu Simbel. Luxor is an another most sought destination with temples like Karnak ,Luxor, Medinat Habu and places like Valley of The Kings and Tombs of the Nobles.

Both cities are part of the Upper Egypt Area and situated at the distance of 220 kms from each other. Almost all tourists try to cover both the places during their trip to Egypt. There are lot of queries on the web regarding the availability of various options to travel between these two cities. But this is the simplest part of the story. There are three other magnificent temples lie along the road between these two cities and they are Kom Ombo Temple, Edfu Temple and Esna Temple.

Aswan to Luxor Map : Graphical Representation

Aswan to Luxor Map : Graphical Representation

Getting from Aswan to Luxor or vice-versa is quite easy and that is possible in a cost-effective manner. But most people are puzzled about the possibilities of economical travel between these two cities by covering other three mentioned temples, especially Kom Ombo and Edfu Temple among them. This post aims to describe all those possibilities to ease out that puzzle as I travelled recently from Aswan to Luxor via Kom Ombo Temple and Edfu Temple.

Kom Ombo Temple

Kom Ombo Temple

Edfu Temple

Edfu Temple Complex

To travel from Aswan to Luxor or vice-versa, we can use various mode of transport like flights, cruises, boats, buses, trains, taxis etc. Check out below to get a detailed idea of all available options:

By Air: There is no direct flight between Aswan and Luxor. Both places are having an International Airport, but all flights connecting these two cities are flying via Cairo only. So, minimum flying time between these two cities with a stop over at Cairo is approximately 4 hrs and airfare is generally more than 700 EGP for this trip. Moreover, There is no chance to visit Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples with this option.

Aswan International Airport

Aswan International Airport

By Train: Air Conditioned Sleeper as well as Ordinary Express trains run between Aswan and Luxor on a very good railway track. If you want to go directly to Luxor from Aswan or vice-versa, this is the best economical way. There are at least seven Express trains between these cities throughout the day. You can expect some more passenger trains also. You can check trains time table on Egyptian Railway Website.

Since, it is only 3-4 hours journey, there is no requirement of prior reservation. Ordinary Trains can take more time (5-6 hrs), but you can not reserve seats in those trains. There are reports of foreigners not allowed on the Ordinary Trains between Aswan and Luxor, but once you board the train, nobody will trouble you. However, If you will try to buy ticket from the ticket window at railway station, they may deny you a ticket on ordinary train. It is always better to board an ordinary train first and then buy tickets from Ticket Collector in the train. Train Fares vary from 10 EGP (Ordinary) to 45 EGP (Sleeper Air-Conditioned) depending on the class and type of the train.

2nd Class Chair Car of an Express Train

2nd Class Chair Car of an Express Train

AC Coaches of an Express Train

AC Coaches of an Express Train

Ordinary Class in an Express Train

Ordinary Class in an Express Train

Both Kom Ombo and Edfu has a railway station. Kom Ombo Railway Station is 2-2.5 kms away from the temple, adjacent to Aswan-Luxor Main Highway. You can walk from the station to the temple without any problem. However, tuk-tuks are available at the junction of Main Highway and Link Road going to Kom Ombo Temple. But, you have to reserve them and bargain hard for the price as the temple is only 2 kms away from there.

Tuk Tuks Waiting for Passengers

Tuk Tuks Waiting for Passengers

Edfu Railway Station is nearly 4 kms away from the temple on Aswan-Luxor Main Highway. Railway station is at the East Bank of Nile River, while Temple is at the West Bank. After leaving the train, walk in south direction for approximately one kilometer towards a bridge over the Nile . After crossing the bridge, you will see many horse carriages (Calèche) on the other side. Those horse-carriages will take you to the temple entrance, which is about 2.5 kms away from that place. If you want to walk, you can also walk without any trouble.

Edfu Bridge

Edfu Bridge

Caleche on the other side of Edfu Bridge

Calèche (Horse-Carriage) on the other side of Edfu Bridge

Esna Railway Station is nearly 4.5-5 kms away from the Temple of Khnum (also known as Esna Temple) at the East Bank of Nile River. After leaving train, walk towards south for 300 meters to the bridge, cross Nile river and on the West Bank, again arrange a transport or walk up to the temple.

Esna Direction

Esna DIrection

Please note that all express trains may not have a stop at Kom Ombo, Edfu or Esna. Always check before boarding the train. Its better to board a passenger or Ordinary Train.

Also, I did not observe any sign of accompanied police or convoy to visit these temples from the railway station. You can simply walk and arrange a transport. I did not see any convoy type of thing or any tourist with Police security during the entire journey from Aswan to Luxor.

Luxor Railway Station

Luxor Railway Station

Visiting Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples by a train can be a very economical option, but the problem is to complete this journey in single day. These Temples generally open at 08:00 AM and close at 05:00 PM. Kom Ombo is nearly one hour away from Aswan and you will require another 2-3 hours to visit the temple and Crocodile Museum. Coming back to Railway Station, waiting for another train and Edfu is nearly 1.30 hours away from Kom Ombo. Again, you will require at least 2-3 hours at Edfu Temple. From there, Luxor is about 2 hours away. So, planning the whole journey in single day can be difficult. I don’t think there is any night accommodation in Kom Ombo, but Edfu town seems large enough to have some night accommodations, however I am not sure.

By Nile Cruises: The most luxurious and the costliest option to travel between two cities. There are plenty of Nile Cruise Operators in both the cities. These cruise prices vary from 300 USD to 600 USD including temple entry tickets depending on the cabin and tourist season and take 4-5 days to complete this journey with a stop at Kom Ombo Temple, Edfu Temple and Esna Temple.

These Cruises stop just in front of the Kom Ombo Temple, while they stop about 2.5 kms away from the Edfu Temple, near the Nile Bridge. From there, the cruise operators arrange horse-carriages for the visitors. For Esna Temple, they stop near the temple (about 300 meters away).

A Nile Cruise Docking Near Kom Ombo Temple

A Nile Cruise Docking Near Kom Ombo Temple

By Felucca: Cheaper version of Nile Cruises. There are many Felucca Sailor at the bank of Nile in both cities Aswan and Luxor. It is always better to negotiate directly with these boat captains at river bank to get a good price. Night will be spend either on Feluccas any Island or nearby coastal villages. All accommodation and food will be arranged by the boat captain, so always consider all these factors before booking a felucca. Allow at least 5-6 days to these feluccas for a nice trip.

A Felucca sailing in Nile River at Aswan

A Felucca sailing in Nile River at Aswan

By Public Buses: Many public buses ply between Aswan and Luxor. Foreigners are normally not suppose to take these buses, but once you board nobody really care. These buses are safe and very cheap. There is no convoy type of thing on Aswan-Luxor route now.
A direct bus between Aswan to Luxor will cost you about 30 EGP and journey time is about 4 hours. Highway is in good condition except a bad patch of about 20 kms after Kom Ombo Temple.

Pubic Mini Van

Pubic Mini Van

Bad Patch of Road

Bad Patch of Road

None of these three temples are situated at the main highway, however all temples are connected to the main highway by a link road. Highway is running along the East Bank of Nile in all three towns, but only Kom Ombo Temple is on the East Bank of Nile, others Edfu and Esna Temples are situated at the West Bank of Nile, approachable by a wide well-paved concrete bridge over the Nile. Railway Stations in Kom Ombo, Edfu and Esna are generally close to the main highway between Aswan and Luxor, near the link road going to the temples. So, just follow the instructions written under Train Section to reach those temples after leaving the buses.

By Private Taxis: Private Taxis are the best option to travel between these two cities via these temple. If you try with a tour operator, they may charge you 600 EGP onwards, but try to get a taxi by own on a night before your departure and you may get that in 400 EGP. All three temples are approachable by a taxi ride and taxi drivers generally allow at least 2 hours to visit each temple.

By Shared Taxis: This is what I used in my journey. There is an interesting story behind getting this shared taxi. I met a lady, Pollina, during my group tour to Abu Simbel from Aswan. She also planned a visit to Luxor via Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples next day from Aswan. However, she already arranged a taxi in 400 EGP for the trip. I asked her if I could join and share the cost of this trip. She agreed and we both hoped to share 200 EGP each. However, I was also in touch with my hotel to get any group tour to Luxor, just like Abu Simbel to reduce the journey cost, so I did not confirm my trip with Pollina.

When I returned back to my hotel in the evening, they confirmed my shared tour to Luxor via Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples in 100 EGP only ! I was happy with the price, so I asked them to book that tour for me. I called Pollina and informed her that I would not be able to join her, as I got the group tour. In the night, I received a message from her that she lost her credit card and now due to shortage of cash, she would also join the shared tour.

Next Morning, at 7 AM, I was waiting for my group tour for Luxor. A driver came and when I went with him I saw a big car waiting for me. To my surprise, Pollina was also inside that car. We thought that car would take us to the bus, where other people would join us. But, the driver informed us that we would go to Luxor by that car and only we two were the part of that group tour. So, this way , where we both were supposed to spend 200 EGP each because of our own efforts, we spent only 100 EGP due to the group tour booking by our hotel.

Our Hired Car at Kom Ombo Temple

Our Hired Car at Kom Ombo Temple

The car driver was a very nice guy and he allowed us the sufficient time at both Kom Ombo as well as Edfu Temples. We did not go to Esna Temple. We reached Luxor by 3.15 PM and driver dropped us to our hotels in Luxor one by one.

After reviewing all these options, I can only say that whatever is your choice of transport, once check with your hotel also, especially in Aswan if they can arrange a good cost- effective tour for you. You can find those tour in Luxor also, but in Aswan their network is very organised and there are high chances of getting a shared tour. In Luxor, hotels do not have such type of networks and they mainly rely on other travellers in the same hotel to organize a shared tour.

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  35 Responses to “How to Travel from Aswan to Luxor via Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples?”

  1. I want to say Thank you very much for your “Insider Information”. I was able to book an Abu Simbel tour with Hotel Philae for 350 LE for two people. The cheapest I found online was $90 USD per person. I saved for $150 USD by this info. Thanks so much!

  2. Mr Backpacker, AMAZING info.. You do not know how valuable your information it is. I am traveling with 9 more people I am wondering if I you have the contact of any of the hotels that you mentioned. Slam, Memmon or Nuba Nile. We are Landing on the 31st and we would like to take the tour to Abu Simbel. Once Again. Thx so much for all your help and detail information.

    • Heya – i was there recently, all hotels will tell you about Abu Simbel and be able to roganise so no need to worry about specifics, just remember you need to do it a day in advance because of passport stuff. It was 300LE from memory for the transfer (in a mini bus that collects you from your place). x

      • I’m going to Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan in January, what hotel did you stay at in Aswan? Did you book with your hotel to go to Abu Simbel?

  3. Hi there,
    This blog is very informative. thank you very much. Travelling in November for about a week. Heres my plan though, from Cairo im going to Aswan and spend the night there and do the same arrangement as yours to aswan and abu simbel. im planning to do 3 days for aswan, abu simbel and luxor, is that feasible? and board the train back to cairo in luxor?

    • Hi, do you mean total 3 days for Aswan, Abu Simbel and Luxor or 3 days at each city? The total 3 days is not feasible, while 3 days in each city (Aswan including Abu Simbel and Luxor) is good.

  4. Hi,
    Thank you for this great information. this is very use full. I’m planning to do trip from Lusor to Aswan by land. How many days would you recommend I need?

  5. hi i have been before to hurghada which i found boring after swimming and i didnt really enjoy cairo so i want to try something different like backpacking/camping in aswan nubia village for like 6months an live amoung the natives no hotel stays i got my tent can u get me any suggestion on how to do this thanks

    • Hi, the same feelings here. I don’t like Hurghada at all apart from the snorkeling. I must envy you for your style of offbeat travel. There are many small Nubian villages spread around in the vast desert of Nubia, and most of them are situated near the bank of the Nile river. So, you can go there with your tent with the help of a local person. Necessary supply you can buy from the village. I don’t have an local contact right now. There shouldn’t be any issue in this plan except the fact that their economy is heavily based on the tourism. So, wherever you camp, they may charge you few bucks for the camping. Another concern in safety. I don’t find that there is any safety related issue in the major cities of Egypt, but in the smaller villages in the remote areas, personal safety may be an issue. Have a safe trip.

  6. Hi.

    I’m taking an one day tour in Abu Simbel next month. But I will need to arrive same day to Luxor from Aswan. Where can I take a shared taxi, or bus, afetr muy tour, probably after 2pm (I will do it very early in the morning, expecting to arrive to Aswan at 2-3pm).

    Is it possible?

    Thank you,

    John Rojas

    • Hi, it’s perfectly possible. But, coordinate with your hotel in advance for a shared taxi from Aswan to Luxor, so that you can move immediately in the afternoon. Else, hire a cab for yourself only.

  7. Hi I am staying in Luxor and want to visit Aswan, do you think I can do a day trip from Luxor or is it best to find a hotel in Aswan and stay for 2 or 3 days? I’d like to go to Abu Simbel also.

  8. Great Job on this info ! Congratulations ! … I have one question, because the time, I would like to hire a private taxi as you did, but I want to go first to Philae temple at morning then around 10 o 11 am take the taxi to luxor passing the same temples you did, so I would arrive Luxor 7 pm. 1) Do you think this would be possible ??, 2) The Philae temple can be made in 3 hrs ??

    Appreciate in advance your comments !!

  9. Hello, what is your thought on current situation in Egypt? Female solo travel yes or no. Have lots of solo backpacking experience but Egypt sort of scares me. Trip is planned in October.

    • Hi, Egypt is perfectly a safe destination. People are nice, but due to the lack of inbound tourists, you may find them desperate while selling their stuffs/tour packages. You will enjoy it as much as other places. I shared cabs with other solo female travellers and they didn’t say anything negative about that country. Since, you have travelled a lot, no need to remind you the basic precautions. Have a wonderful trip.

      • I went to Egypt in April and there was security everywhere, specially at hotels. This made me feel more secured. With the recent problems and the need to increase tourism which is one key source of livelihood in the country, I am sure the Government has increased security. I decided to travel in a tour and rarely saw single individuals, with exception of one French lady at Sharm, in the hotel where I was staying. People are friendly and well natured: I love Egyptians and could have stayed there longer had time permitted it. I am sure I will return to Egypt some time. Selling tactics are the same in places or countries where tourism is the main source of income: just keep walking to avoid offending anyone because a response with a minor interest will undestandably increase the hope of a sale and, therefore, the persistence to make a sale. A fellow traveler purchased (at a bargain) the same dress I purchased at the ship where I paid several times more. During our last night at a place, I helped a fellow traveler look for a red dress he wanted for his daughter. Merchants talked to each other and moved all over until they found a beautiful red dress. Unfortunately, my fellow traveler tried to bargain so much that I though the effort to find a red dress was underestimated and undervalued; I felt ashamed and walked away extremely disappointed at my fellow traveler. I took several pictures with people without any problem as residents are wonderful . At one hotel I wanted to enjoy a piece of cake with my coffee and the waiter waited for me. I said, thank you, and he said he would wait for me to taste the cake – just to see my expression of enjoyment to just say, “thank Ala”. Would you expect anything bad from such human beings? I was many times confused as being Egyptian, and not wearing a vail on my head made heads turn; I purposely called on my son in English to avoid confusion. Women in the bathroom would talk to me in their language and, when I responded in English, they smiled in a very friendly way. At temples or pyramids, you will find some residents offering to take pictures for you inside the temples or pyramids, and ask for a tip at the end: remember that picture taking is not allowed inside pyramids or museums. A nice No Thank you everywhere is sufficient. Enjoy the beautiful trip: the country and their wonderful people.

  10. Hello. It appears that you need to go back and forth to the hotel because there is no sufficient time to visit the temples in one day. 1) Do you recommend to stay at the hotel each night and take a cab to visit these temples?, 1) How many days requires to visit the temples from Luxor to Swan? 2) Do taxi drivers speak English? 3) Was the $100 cost round trip? Tank you, very much, for the wonderful information.

    • Hi Maria, it wasn’t like to and forth trip to the same hotel. I started from my hotel in Aswan, visited Kom Ombo Temple and Edfu Temple on the way to Luxor and end the trip in Luxor. Its one way only. So the EGP 100 cost is for the trip to Luxor from Aswan via Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples. I completed this trip in 8-9 hours and visited the temples of Aswan and Luxor separately. Taxi drivers are able to speak English. However, sometimes, there were the taxi drivers, who could not able to communicate in English. In that case, they took the help from the fellow countrymen, who knows English, to act as a translator.

      • Thank you, very much, for your reply. I will look for hotels in those 2 areas. I am traveling with my son and would like to adventure on my own. I think I can get help there with guides, if necessary. I will ask my son to take a look at the phone for translation, if needed. Any additional recommendation will be appreciated. Again, thank you.

  11. What are you thoughts on renting a car and self driving this route?

    • Hi, It shouldn’t be an issue. Road is in good condition for major part. At least 20 kms of stretch was very bad during my visit. I don’t see any problem during the day time. Avoid driving in the night. But, I don’t know if renting services are available in Egypt.

  12. Great post! You answered all my questions that the hostel operators here in Cairo seem unable to answer. The hotel you found in Aswan sounds like they booked some great deals for you. Do you mind sharing the name of that hotel? Thanks!

    • Hi, I stayed at El Salam Hotel in Aswan. But all other hotels like Memnon, Nuba Nile etc. also have the similar arrangements. You can chose any as per your convenience. Have a nice trip.

  13. Thank you for all your helpful information! Are there days in which it is not possible to travel via private taxi from Luxor to Aswan? We are w family of four and would like to travel on a Friday, December 26. Also, will a private sedan car take 4 people–2 are children age 12 and 7? Thank you for any response!

    • Hi, It is possible to travel by a car from Luxor to Aswan. A private sedan car can easily accommodate 4 people, one at the front seat with driver and 3 at the back seat. The highway is normally in good condition, except some bad patches. There is no need of police convoy or any other formalities to travel from Luxor to Aswan. But, it will be better, if you book the car through your hotel to avoid any inconveniences. Have a great trip.

  14. Hello…I was reading on the internet that foreign tourists are not allowed on some buses and trains because of security issue. Is this true for private taxis too like the one you took from Aswan to Luxor? Btw…I can not say enough good things about this wonderful website. Thanks

    • In passenger trains and in some sleeper trains, tourists are not allowed. But I also heard that once you board a train (whatever it is), they will not throw you out. However, I never tried this. Private Taxis move without such type of restrictions.

  15. Thank you for this great info.

  16. Great and valuable information provided! My only question is, as I supposed you were leaving Aswan to Luxor with no intention to come back, were you allowed to enter the temples with your big backpack? I mean, you were accompanied with the taxi driver, but he was a stranger, and I could never leave my luggage with anyone waiting for me outside the temple… you know what I mean?

    • Hi Juan,
      I understand this problem..I had two bags during my trip..One was a backpack and another was a camera cum laptop bag. I kept all my valuables in the camera bag, that is medium in size and went inside the temples almost everywhere in Egypt..So, I really never worried about my backpack left in the car..and if I was able to take a medium sized camera bag inside the temple without any trouble, then you can also take your big backpack inside the temple, particularly inside Edfu and Kom Ombo Temple..But, if you are traveling to Dendera and Abydos in similar manner by a car, then you may have some interest to go inside an underground room at Dendera Temple and there you can not take your big backpack, because of the narrow stairs.
      Avanish Maurya

  17. Informative post and nicely written too. Thanks for sharing this.

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